One of the main features of the iPad is that it is available with both WiFi and 3G connectivity options. Many tablet devices are available with WiFi only, which can be quite limiting in terms of their portability because of this dependency. The cellular data network, provided by Telstra, is able to be used in conjunction with the on campus, or at home WiFi, and extends the range of the device far beyond the normal location constraints. The trials have found this is particularly suited to off campus usage, in particular for workplace learning students, and those operating in rural and remote locations.
Some students found that the WiFi models were limiting their mobility. The required connection restricted the locations and environments in which they could operate, that is, some only to the university, as they had no WiFi at home.
While mobile data was never intended to be used as the primary connection for the device, 3G was an important component in extending its range, particularly for staff and students away from campus and home. For students on work placement and staff wishing to work remotely 3G became a lifeline and allowed them to operate outside of the normal constraints.